A number of my long-term readers have contacted me over the past month wanting to know why I have taken such a right-hand turn from my usual focus on crime, corruption and politics and now seem to focus my energies exclusively on racing.
A couple of my favorite subscribers who have been following this website since its beginning live reporting on the Trade Union Commission have lodged protests, saying that they are not racing men or gamblers and find the content boring.
I don’t quite understand their complaints.
How could anyone find racing boring?
I love it, and I love writing about it. Racing brings me joy, and writing about it fills me with glee, and do you know what? I reckon that I’m pretty damn good at it too – better than most, including the majority of the so-called pros – and that a combination of my unique life experiences, encyclopedic long-term memory and wide circle of associates, contacts and friends has rendered me as almost the ideal racing writer, although of course I am somewhat handicapped by the facts that I usually go to bed at the time the horses arrive at the track for morning work; that I generally dislike talking to other human beings unless they are mates, interesting or female and hot; and that my PTSD inspired anxiety disorder prevents me in the main from seeking quotes or asking the hard questions of people that are the usual requirement of a penman in the trade.
I can’t do anything about these impediments other than live with them though, and it’s taken me more than three decades of fighting my disabilities to understand that simple fact, and one other: it’s not my fault.
I am what I am because of what was done to me when I was too young to fight back, and I’m not to blame.
The dead peds and the jailed one and the one waiting in living purgatory for the lift down to hell are, and there is sweet f*ck all I can do about the lifelong effects that their abuse has caused other than to continue to fight it and up a destitute drunken druggie cast out onto the streets after my family leaves me and I’m thrown into a mental home and then thrown out again to nothing, or to embrace my failings and just do the very best that I can.
So I do the best I can, and here you are reading it, and thanks. It makes me feel good, and inspires me to keep on keeping on and continue trying to tell the truth about things that are far too often hidden in the dark.
Now back to the beginning?
Because the real story isn’t about racing at all.
It’s about greed, and vanity, and politics, and nepotism, and corporate misconduct, and insider dealing, and crime, and criminals, and corruption, and corrupt public, and corporate officials, and the fix being in.
Just like most of my stories.
Only this time the crooks are in the racing industry, and the fix is so widespread and so deeply innate to a discrete section of industries that only someone who knows a lot about crime and politics and government and companies and clubs and contracts and gambling and horse racing and greyhounds and trots and research and journalism and words and ideas can properly write about and reveal it.
There’s only one mad bastard that I know who fits the bill.
Here I am baby.
Over the next couple of hours I am going to publish a series of stories about the Eagle Farm racecourse redevelopment.
They are not my stories, they are those of Dale Monteith, the life long racing administrator who was engaged by Racing Queensland to report on the failures that lead to the closure of the Eagle Farm race track bang in the middle of what should have been Queensland’s most important few weeks of racing of the year.
I haven’t spoken to Mr Monteith, and he has not written what I am about to publish, but he is man who clearly loves racing as much as I do and so in his report he has left clues, clues that only a crazy man with the attributes listed above and a passion for the Sport of Kings and Queens and Paupers and Punters and Average Race Loving Australians can spot and quiz and research and write about.
There are far more questions than answers in what you are soon to read.
They need answers.